We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Why Faculty Should Join Occupy Movement Protesters on College Campuses

Click here to access article by Henry A. Giroux from Truthout. 

This distinguished academic and writer argues that faculty have much to learn from students in the Occupy movement, and not only about what is wrong with education.
...students have more to offer than a serious critique of the university and its complicity with a number of antidemocratic forces now shaping the larger society. They are also modeling for faculty new modes of participatory democracy, and exhibiting forms of pedagogy and education that connect learning with social change and knowledge with more democratic modes of self-development and social empowerment.

Appeal for Your Support [from an outstanding independent journalist]

Click here to access article by Keith Harmon Snow from Conscious Being. 

This outstanding independent journalist has been reporting on the crimes against humanity perpetrated by regimes often supported directly or indirectly by the Empire. I have followed his reports for several years and have always found them to be very informative and insightful. We of the 99 Percent simply must support the work of the few independent journalists that are still covering events in areas of the world that are largely uncovered or covered by corporate media according to the interests of the Empire.

The article describes the work he has been doing, and a current documentary project and related writings he is working on. Donations for either or both can be made at the "Donate" links at the upper left hand corner of the article.

Battlefield Occupy

Click here to access article by Allison Kilkenny from In These Times

This article provides a review of current weapons being used by the enforcers of the One Percent against Occupiers, some new ones currently being tested, and future weapons under consideration to use against dissidents. Yes, folks, the class war is heating up and the political operatives of the One Percent are taking the kid gloves off their enforcers to reveal the naked fist of fascism. 

Here in my home town of Bellingham, Washington, on Wednesday Occupiers who are a very peaceful bunch were shocked to see police show up to clear their camp in full riot gear.

No doubt, the idea of these police actions, which are coordinated nationwide, is to intimidate people. The political operatives of the One Percent want to inculcate the idea into the minds of the 99 Percent that there is no alternative to their rule and policies, and they will not tolerate any significant opposition.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Huntsman calls Ron Paul "unelectable" because of racist newsletters (updated)

Click here to access article by Stephanie Condon from CBS News. (Late posting)

I am hearing more and more criticisms of Ron Paul's candidacy for President in the Republican Party primary elections. Mostly spokespeople are saying that he is "unelectable" even though he appears to be more popular among Republicans than any other of their candidates. This morning I heard on Bloomberg TV criticism of him as being racist and homophobic! As if Republicans cared about those issues! 

Ron Paul has been gaining a lot of popularity because of his attacks on the Fed and its control over our currency. He is very correct on this issue. However he has made many racist and homophobic remarks in the past, and he is also opposed to social welfare programs, Social Security, and labor unions which do conform to Republican and ruling class views. See this and this. So, on only one issue does he not conform to Republican views. So why the recent attacks?

To me this illustrates where most power is actually situated within the ruling class. It has been my contention for a long time that the powerful core of the ruling class is largely based in the financial sector. Their control over money issuance is extremely important to the top bankers. Money is the lubricant that enables the machinery of an economy to function. With this control they insure their control of society to serve their interests of power and profit.

(Even later add-on posting) I just found an excellent article by David Glenn Cox from OpEd News. He has done much more work on this phenomenon of mainstream media's smear of Ron Paul. It is similar to the recent campaigns against Syria and Iran. It's uncanny. It is precisely as if there was some sort of coordinating media body who was directing these media campaigns. Any guesses where it might be located? 

Syria Update: US Government Gives Green Light to MSM

Click here to access article by Sibel Edmonds from her blog, Boiling Frogs.

If you are unfamiliar with this former FBI employee and whistle-blower, please read Wikipedia's biography of her through the above link. She knows her subject well.
The controlled reporting and propaganda by the Washington war machine has not been limited to the US mainstream media. Many popular quasi alternative channels have followed the exact same trend, the most troubling one being AntiWar.Com. For several months they refused to run any of these confirmed reports while they ran every single bit of propaganda coverage by the US mainstream media on Syria.
I am laughing at reports slowly leaking out in mainstream media that the Arab League observers in Syria are not reporting the line approved by the Empire. I expect this will change, but it will depend on the degree to which Empire political operatives can apply pressure to these observers. I haven't time to look for US sources, but here is one from Australia.

Occupy must fight back and include homeless to ward off evictions and remain relevant

Click here to access article by Zoe Williams from The Precarious. 

Another call for the Occupy movement to focus on housing based on the author's experience in Denver, Colorado.

Capitalism and Loneliness: Why Pornography Is a Multibillion-Dollar Industry

Click here to access article by Harriet Fraad and Tess Fraad Wolff from Truthout. 

Although the authors make many good points, I think they overstate their case regarding pornography. I do not think that pornography as such is a problem, only the addiction to it is. Also the quality of pornography can vary considerably. Exposure to pornography can enhance one's sexuality or it can induce negative attitudes. Most experiences and substances are not in themselves problematic; but certainly when people become addicted to them, that they can create problems. The authors fail to make this distinction. This is likely because they are both therapists who, by definition, treat people with behavior problems.

Media has become Orwellian

by Ron Horn.

This rant was in part set off by reading a report entitled, "US-Saudi $30bn arms deal to counter Iran" from Al Akhbar.

One industry that flourishes in the US is the weapons industry that is the source of the infamous military-industrial complex which rules over the Empire. Being located near Seattle where Boeing has its main plants, I am now witnessing glowing media reports over this sale. This is one of the few industries where the ruling One Percent will not outsource most of this work to low wage countries, for obvious reasons. The fact the weapons are used to inflict violence and the threat of violence on many people across the globe in order to serve the interests of the One Percent is, of course, never mentioned.   

All the media and other mainline institutions of the Empire always promote the weapons industry as a wonderful source of jobs--as if jobs were of great concern to the Empire. Well, in a way they are because jobs are a cost factor in their profit seeking enterprises. Thus, they make every effort to reduce these costs, to reduce the number of jobs whenever they can. Meanwhile, cities and states across the country are slashing jobs in education, social and other public services. So, leaving aside the killing aspects of these weapons, let us take a look at how many jobs they create according to Robert Pollin of the PERI Institute.

I don't know if the propaganda function of mainstream media has gotten worse in recent times or if it has always been this way. It seems like it is getting worse, but that may only be because I have spent considerable time on the web in the past two years uncovering the reality behind the media lies. It sometimes seems to me that mainstream media reports are now carefully and exclusively calculated to serve One Percent interests. Media now seems to be taking on thoroughly Orwellian characteristics.

This impression has been bolstered over the past several months when I've seen how they have aggressively promoted shopping for the holidays, how they have covered the Occupy Movement, how they have promoted the war in Libya, coverage of Western insertion of terrorists in Syria portrayed as Syrian government oppression, events in North Korea, etc. Just in the past week I've noticed very optimistic, almost ecstatic reports about future job growth in the US from the main TV networks which has been totally at odds with reports from investor sources such as Bloomberg TV. 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Little Satire

Thanks to TW3 News for this post.

He prepared for the office of President by selling cancer-causing cigarettes. I can't think of a better way to prepare for selling government policies formulated by the One Percent, especially neo-liberalism that has made us all sick. On the other hand, it made the ruling One Percent even richer.

Solidify Occupy: A Suggestion for What’s Next

Click here to access article by Charles Imboden from Better Worlds, Brighter Futures. 

After a review of the brief, but exciting history of the Occupy movement, the author offers some suggestions for developing its future. 
...a two-fold strategy is suggested: on the one hand, defense of the commons through the defense and extension of the general assembly, as well as an extremely local, grassroots, horizontal, directly democratic alternative political movement known as libertarian municipalism; on the other, expansion of the commons through the transformation of neighborhood spaces and creation of elements of the egalitarian and ecological community known as prefiguration.

Occupy Geeks Are Building a Facebook for the 99%

Click here to access article by Sean Captain from Wired. 

The article describes the efforts of several software designers to create social networking programs specifically for the Occupy movement.  This is more evidence of how alive and growing the Occupy movement continues to be in its efforts to create change in today's world. They/we are, in a very real sense, starting to build a new world that can sustain everyone--including the One Percent. We must all do our part by supporting the movement in any way we can.
...the Occupy movement’s surprising rise in the U.S. has added new impetus to the desire for open source versions of the software that is playing an increasingly important role in mobilizing and connecting social movements, as well as broadcasting their efforts to the world.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Chilean Cops Arrest Santa!

thanks to Greek Left Review for posting this.

Even Santa is not immune to arrest in the New World Order
Via TW3 News: A demonstrator dressed as Santa Claus is arrested by riot policemen during clashes with students protesting against the government to demand changes in the public state education system in Santiago, December 22, 2011. Chilean students have been protesting against what they say is the profiteering in the state education system.
Yes, Santa is an activist, too! See what he did to risk arrest in Santiago.

Vote Obama – if you want a centrist Republican for US president

Click here to access article by Glenn Greenwald from The Guardian.
American presidential elections are increasingly indistinguishable from the reality TV competitions drowning the nation's airwaves. Both are vapid, personality-driven and painfully protracted affairs, with the winners crowned by virtue of their ability to appear slightly more tolerable than the cast of annoying rejects whom the public eliminates one by one.
What I find hard to believe is that excellent journalists like Greenwald really believe that elections are about who actually governs the US. This article, along with so many by the author and others, decries the fact that Obama is no different than Bush. And, many other articles by this author and others complain that lobbyists control Congress. Yet, Greenwald and so many other intelligent people too often appear unable to take the next logical step to look for the real decision makers, or the directors behind the actors on the political stage.

On the other hand, what do you think would happen to Greenwald if he did take this step? He would be banished from any mainstream media outlets and end up on some obscure blog like this one. 
Unfortunately, by failing to take the next step, he functions as a gatekeeper to keep political discourse within acceptable limits--acceptable to the political operatives of the ruling One Percent. 

If you want to learn about these political operatives, you could do no better than read the book entitled, The Secret Team, by (retired) Colonel L. Fletcher Prouty.  

When political leaders fail to follow the orders of the real decision makers, they are removed from office one way or another ranging from assassination in the case of Kennedy or withdrawal of funding in the case of Sen. Frank Church who asked too many embarrassing questions.

Congress seeks legal framework for Internet censorship

Click here to access article by Mike Ingram from World Socialist Web Site. 

Because the ruling One Percent have seen how effective the internet can be in the hands of activists, they want more control over it using the cover of intellectual property rights. Their employees in the US Congress have dutifully presented bills to do just that.

The article lists some of the egregious sections of these bills and the threats they pose.

Red Lines and Ticking Clocks: U.S. War Plans Against Iran

Click here to access article by Tom Burghardt from Dissident Voice. 
Wars don’t just happen.

Before the first bomb falls disinformation specialists prepare the ground.

Leading media outlets, foreign policy journals and a plethora of think tanks funded by elite foundations, energy and weapons’ conglomerates, “right,” “left” or “center” take your pick, churn out war propaganda disguised as “analysis.”
The author goes on to list all the other preparations being made by US and Israeli political operatives to increase their hegemony over the Middle East and its resources. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

From Katrina to Occupy

Click here to access this book review by Renee Feltz from Indypendent.

The author reviews a book entitled, Black Flags and Windmills: Hope, Anarchy, and the Common Ground Collective, by Scott Crow, an activist in a collective in post-Katrina New Orleans.
Ultimately, Black Flags and Windmills is about envisioning a better world and trusting ourselves to believe that our dreams actually contain the paths to make it happen, not as voters, not as consumers, but as participants in a spontaneous, horizontal democracy that looks different everywhere but meets the needs of the people where they are.

No Time Left to Adapt to Melting Glaciers

Click here to access article by Stephen Leahy from IPS.
The water supplied by the glaciers of the Cordillera Blanca, vital to a huge region of northwest Peru, is decreasing 20 years sooner than expected, according to a new study.
Michel Baraer, a glaciologist at Canada's McGill University and a lead author of the recently completed study, has come to these conclusions:
"This water decline is guaranteed. The only question is how much and how quickly," he said. There is already so much carbon in the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels that it is "already too late for most of the glaciers in the Andes,"

Their research on Peru's glaciers provides another example what many climate warming scientists see ahead: climate changes coming so fast that we will be unable to adapt. I'm not suggesting that the situation is hopeless and therefore we should do nothing. I'm suggesting that we need immediately to make every effort to change a system that is addicted to growth and driving us to extinction--capitalism.

Haiti: Open For Busines

Click to access articles, Part 1 and Part 2, from IPS News Service. 
Chalmers, who heads the Haitian Platform for Alternative Development, deplores what he calls incredible “short-sightedness” and lack of vision.

“They are betting Haiti’s future on slave labour,” he said. “I think it is more than just an error. It’s a crime, because in general assembly industry factories don’t bring development, they don’t bring prosperity, and they won’t help us get out our current situation.”

These two articles will give you a progress report on the US taxpayer handout to US corporations to exploit Haitian labor, all in the name of post-earthquake aid spearheaded by the Clintons. But, of course, it is only more of the same disaster capitalism that corporations pursue all over the world. 

The "Nation" and the National Defense Authorization Act

Click here to access article by Tom Carter and Barry Grey from World Socialist Web Site. 

The authors take a well aimed attack on a prominent politically liberal journal in American politics. As I see it, liberals are either people who refuse to grow up politically or they are covert agents of the ruling One Percent. The authors illustrate this form of political liberalism using some liberal reactions to the recent bill passed by both houses of Congress: the National Defense Authorization Act.
The NDAA was passed by both houses of the US legislature earlier this month and now awaits only President Obama’s signature before it becomes the law of the land. The NDAA has immense historic significance. It effectively abolishes the Bill of Rights and 220 years of precedent, expressly giving the US military the power to abduct and imprison any person anywhere in the world—US citizen or otherwise—on suspicion of a terror-related crime, without charge, jury, evidence, or trial.
The simple fact is, it doesn't matter who they allow us to vote for: whoever wins will serve the same political operatives of the One Percent ruling class. Someone who finally grew up said, "If [US] elections could change anything, they would be illegal." If you still think that Obama represents a really significant different leadership, you obviously need to read this piece by Stephen Lendman entitled, '"Obama Year Three: Continuing His "Rogue Agenda"'. Obama, like all Presidents since the 1970s, is little more than a public relations officer for the people who really rule this country.

Monday, December 26, 2011

How Unitarians Saved Christmas

Click here to access article by Rev. Nathan Detering from Angry Bear.

The Unitarian minister provides a much need historical framework to the celebration of Christmas. It's clear that capitalism has greatly added its influence over the way Christmas is celebrated. Some might say that capitalism has co-opted Christmas--like just about everything else.

Free Syrian Army commanded by Military Governor of Tripoli

Click here to access article by Thierry Meyssan from Voltaire. 
...the contradiction that was desperately kept hidden for the past decade returns to the surface: the mercenaries, formerly paid by Osama Bin Laden, have never stopped working in the service of US strategic interests since the first war in Afghanistan, including the period of the September 11 attacks. Yet they are portrayed ​​by Western leaders as implacable enemies.
This independent journalist has provided startling evidence that Al Qaeda has been employed in the service of Empire in Libya and now in Syria. If Al Qaeda is a mercenary army employed by the Empire is true, then this would explain a lot of mysterious events of the past decade. 

What comes to my mind immediately was the claim by US officials immediately following the 9/11 event that Al Qaeda was responsible and then the lack of any serious effort to go after them in Afghanistan. Instead, they invaded Iraq. Then we discovered that Bin Laden was comfortably relaxing in a home near a Pakistani army base when the US assassinated him. Could it be that they killed him because he might eventually leak the real truth? It brings to mind how Oswald and Ruby, and many others, were killed to shut them up after the Kennedy assassination in 1963. (Read JFK and the Unspeakable by Douglass) It brings to mind all the false flag attacks perpetrated by Empire political operatives. See this, this, and this.

How Occupy and Labor Can Unite

Click here to access article by Shamus Cooke from Workers Action.

This essay adds a valuable contribution to the Occupy movement which seeks direction for future actions. Also he reports on the currents attempts of One Percent political operatives to undermine all publicly funded health care.

A Doomsday View of 2012

Click here to access article by James Petras from Counter Currents. 

The retired Professor Emeritus offers his predictions for the coming year. They ain't pretty, folks, but as his last paragraph suggests, sometimes things have to get worse before they can get better. As the anti-social tendencies of capitalism develop into their nightmarish endgames, there exists the possibility that a sufficient number of us will finally get off our asses and do something about changing the social-economic system into one that is life affirming.

Law turns kids into commodities

Click here to access article by Fred Grimm from the Miami Herald. 

The author reveals how investors among the One Percent are cashing in on opportunities provided by the privatization of services made possible by their new educational policies.
No Child Left Behind, President Bush’s 2001 education reform package, since embraced by President Obama, may have forced needed attention onto failing schools, but the law also created an extraordinary new industry funded exclusively with public money.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Marines in Darwin: US Energy Imperialism and the South China Sea

Click here to access article by David T. Rowlands from Monthly Review. 

The author looks at the significance of Obama's latest move to establish a military base in Darwin, Australia. In his role as chief of US public relations (also known as the "President") Obama described this in terms of seeking to advance the cause of freedom in the Asia Pacific. 
The rapid-response MEU [Marine Expeditionary Unit] in Darwin will be of direct benefit to Western oil interests in their quest to dominate the fossil fuel resources of the South China Sea.  Contrary to the “humanitarian” impression created by Obama’s propagandistic Australian speeches, the Marines and their B-52s are coming to serve the corporate interests that they have served for at least a century.

Playing Chess in Eurasia

Click here to access article by Pepe Escobar from OpEd News. 

This perceptive journalist and commentator has a unique style, a kind of detached cynicism laced with sardonic humor ("a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down"), in dealing with the complexities and the power plays of various elites across the world. He borrows Brzezinski's chess game metaphor (The Grand Chessboard) because that is the way ruling classes relate to the world. Other people such as John Bellamy Foster identify these events as “a dangerous new era of energy imperialism.” 

The games of the ruling classes often result in disasters for us in the form of wars, holocausts, oppression, exploitation, etc. As long as we, the people, tolerate ruling classes, we will continue to "suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune" and will continue to be mere pawns in their dangerous games. This current potentially catastrophic chess game is centered on the energy resources in Eurasia where so many moves and counter-moves are being made by the elites.

Spoiling for a Fight with Syria and Iran

Click here to access article by Steve Lendman from his blog. 

The author examines the details of the Empire's method of destabilizing countries in order to incorporate them into the Empire by reviewing the recent successes in the former Yugoslavia and Libya, and their current efforts in Syria with the ultimate prize of Iran in mind.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

True cost of the Christmas toys we buy from China’s factories

Click here to access article by Gethin Chamberlain from SACOM.  

In case it is still a little unclear to you why so much American industry has left American workers behind to re-locate elsewhere, this video and article should enlighten you a bit. Back in 1999 we in the Seattle area protested globalization policies at the WTO meetings as best we could. Now, 12 years later, we are seeing the results of the abandonment of American workers by the One Percent who, in pursuit of more profits, decided to outsource production and our jobs to cheap labor areas all over the world. We simply cannot lose more of these battles. This video from 2004 provides a good introduction. The article suggests that little has changed since then.

Holiday Season Hypocrisy

Click here to access article by Stephen Lendman from his blog.

The author explores the consumerist-orgy theme that the ruling capitalist class has used to subvert the older, traditional meanings of Christmas.
...millions in America and elsewhere buy stuff they don't need. Economist Paul Baran described it as "want(ing) what we don't need (consumer unessentials) and not what we do," including safe food, clean air and water, education, healthcare, and good governance.

It's worst at Christmas when frenzied spending dismissively becomes getting into the holiday spirit until bills arrive. Institutionalized self-gratification diverts people from what matters most, including ending imperial wars, eroding civil liberties, human rights and other democratic values, lack of jobs, gutted social services, ecological destruction, and policies benefiting America's privileged at the expense of beneficial social change.

My Declaration of War on Christmas

Click here to access article by Greg Palast from his blog.

The author describes his experience watching American TV, controlled by the One Percent, in which a version of a heart warming story is presented to sooth those who are destitute this Christmas.

Ten Growth Markets for Crisis

Click here to access article from DSG (UK). (I was unable to see any difference between this article and the "full report" linked to in the article.)
Let’s outline some key social trends, some growing ideological markets and some possible future scenarios as the class-war continues to warm up. These aren’t predictions, as such – they are attempts to open up our understanding of our current situation as ideologies come crashing down around us. We need to write new stories about how we got here, who we are, and how we’re going to cope with what is to come.
Although the article focuses on conditions in Britain, much of it applies to conditions throughout Western countries.

New York to Host Israel's Top Drone Lab

Click here to access article by Max Blumenthal from Al-Akhbar. 
Presented as an anodyne research and development initiative that promises to produce thousands of jobs and hundreds of "spin-off" tech companies, the Cornell-Technion campus is also likely to be a boon to the military-industrial complex in the US and Israel.
As America's industrial base mostly disintegrates from the neo-liberal policies of the ruling capitalist elite, there is one sector that continues to boom--weapons technology and production. This article reveals in this example how the sector is increasingly wedded to the Israeli ruling class. 

It's becoming clear that the rulers of the Empire realize that many people, especially in the US, the center of the Empire, are beginning to see through the lies about the War on Terror and the War on Drugs. Hence, they are becoming a morally bankrupt ruling class that must increasingly depend on their sophisticated weapons and the threat of violence in order to continue their domination of many people across the globe. Never before has it been possible for so few to impose their will over so many. The only weapon, we the people have, is knowledge and the use of technology to spread that knowledge. But ideas are powerful, so the future of the 99 Percent remains in question: are we destined to live under conditions of barbarism or can we establish societies that are free of dominating, exploitative ruling classes? Stay tuned...or better yet, stay active. 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Official Occupy Wall Street Thank You Video

This it the official OWS video to thank our supporters. This video was passed by consensus through the New York City GA on Tuesday, December 20.

Christmas of crisis in America

Click here to access article by Patrick Martin from World Socialist Web Site.
America at Christmas 2011 is a society of mass poverty, on the one hand, and vast wealth accumulation, on the other—tens of millions of people are poor and desperate, while a relative handful enjoy riches undreamt of by the Egyptian pharaohs or the aristocracy of Louis XIV.
I know that "tis the season to be jolly", but this year I simply can't manage it, can't fake it. No, I think tis the season to advance the Occupy movement into something which has a chance of liberating us from the capitalist foot that is crushing down on all our necks and killing what human dignity we still have, crushing the hopes of our young people for a bright future, and destroying the planet that supports us all. It is a time for us all to renew the spirit of Patrick Henry who in his oft quoted phrase, "Give me liberty, or give me death", refused to be placed in indefinite servitude to the British Crown. We must refuse to be placed in perpetual servitude to the current ruling capitalist class. 

Christ Under Occupation: Christmas in the Holy Land

Click here to access article by Eileen Fleming from We Are Wide Awake.
The day is rapidly approaching when that troubled piece of real estate many claim is holy will be bereft of the most highly educated and consistently nonviolent Palestinians –the indigenous Palestinian Christians/AKA The Forgotten Faithful.

Researches predict that if things do not change very soon, Holy Land churches will be nothing more than museums for Christian communities across the region are declining due to low birth rates coupled with increasing emigration due to the persecution and violence rooted in the now 44 years of Military occupation of Palestine.

PORTUGAL: All-Out Privatisation Gets Underway

Click here to access article by Mario Queiroz from IPS News. 
...the bourgeoisie in Europe understand that "this is the right moment to do it quickly, when the trade unions and leftist parties are weakened, disconcerted or divided, before protesters organise and react; and, if necessary, [to] put an end to democracies to ensure change. There is a great deal at stake here."
Read how the capitalist predators in Portugal are currently tearing apart the flesh of social support systems and running off with the bones of public property to satisfy their never ending appetite for more.

The Real I-Revolt Apps of the Arab Spring

Click here to access article by Emad Mekay from IPS News.
So here I am, an Arab journalist in Silicon Valley, where four out of every four people I meet believe Facebook invented the Arab Spring. Three more weeks here and I may start to hallucinate that Mark Zuckerberg was a Cairo-slums native named Hassouna El-Fatatri, who rotted in a Mubarak prison for advocating personal privacy rights.
It appears that the Empire's media executives do not like to report on opposition to their satraps and stooges all over the world; but when a people finally refuse to tolerate them and risk their lives to protest, what do the Empire's media managers do? They credit Western technology. Those dumb Arabs could never do such things by themselves. (sarcasm)

The reality is that these courageous Arabs inspired the young, and not so young, people in the US and other Western countries to finally stand up and say, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not gonna take it anymore!"

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A (Very Very) Brief History of Occupation Tactics

Click here to access article by Willie Osterweil from Shareable. 

The author describes the significance of the Occupy movement both globally and historically. 
The occupation is a powerful tactic for a number of reasons: it foregrounds the political issues of everyday life and public space, it produces a positive communitarian solution to the problems it critiques, it is highly visible and struggle is continuous in a way that radicalizes its participants. It has been used throughout history in fights for social justice, peace, and revolution, but now its moment has truly arrived, and there are many more occupations to come.

Resist, Reclaim, Recreate

Click here to access article by Andy Stern from The Indypendent. 
Wall Street banks have turned millions of Americans out of their homes since the foreclosure crisis began in 2007. On Dec. 6, Occupy activists in more than 20 states teamed up with local community organizations to start moving people back into some of those foreclosed homes.

May you live in interesting times

Click here to access article by William Bowles from his blog.

The author provides a good analysis of how mainstream media effectively manages the consent of its population to serve the interests of the One Percent. But, in doing so, I think he overstates his case. 

The more mainstream media's version of reality clashes with the realities experienced daily by the 99 Percent, the more the credibility of MSM breaks down. Likewise, more and more people are turning to alternative media to find out what is really happening. The reports from Wikileaks and alternative media along with the messages coming out of the Occupy movement are all having a major impact on the political consciousness of ordinary people. That is precisely why the One Percent is enhancing its support of its enforcers (police and prisons) to quell dissent.

Co-ops Under Capitalism

Click here to access 47:00m audio presentation of an interview with Ian Seda-Irizarry from KPFA (Berkeley, CA).

During the first approximately 10 minutes the interviewee critiques various popular views of the present dire economic situation. After that he focuses on questions regarding worker coops such as the Mondragon Co-operative based in Spain, especially on their value and limitations as a model to serve the interests of workers.

Tracking Journalist Arrests at Occupy Protests Around the Country

Click here to access article by Josh Stearns from Storify. 

Yesterday, I used the latest example of none-coverage by US media--the massacre of striking workers in Kazakhstan, to illustrate how mainstream media controls coverage of events in the world where the One Percent have an interest in those areas. Clearly the One Percent do not like the challenge presented by the Occupy movement here within the US. Initially they simply ignored it. Recently they have been covering it with a lot of ambivalence, but what is often overlooked is how the enforcers of the One Percent are treating journalists who try to cover the various protest actions. In this piece the author assembles reports of numerous incidents across the US where the authorities are arresting, detaining, and assaulting journalists trying to cover events related to the Occupy movement. 

Secrets from the past point to rapid climate change in the future

Click here to access article by Patrick Lynch from NASA.
The human-caused release of increased carbon dioxide into the atmosphere...presents climate scientists with something they've never seen in the 65 million year record of carbon dioxide levels — a drastic rate of increase that makes it difficult to predict how rapidly the Earth will respond.
..."Humans have overwhelmed the natural, slow changes that occur on geologic timescales," Hansen said.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wall St likes your amnesia

Click here to access article by Ellen Brown from Asia Times Online.

This popular writer on money matters reviews the bankster scenario that has been playing out in the US since the economic collapse of 2008, explains once again how private control of money functions to enrich the One Percent, and what the solution is--public ownership and control over money issuance. 

However, I don't think she understands how this capitalist scam is at the very core of their class rule. And also, this is not the only interest that the One Percent have in current social-economic arrangements: they also want to continue their historical scam of ownership and control over the wealth that is socially created. Thus, the 99 Per Cent must organize themselves sufficiently to change the entire system of capitalism to something that serves their needs: achieve freedom from wars, from extremes of wealth and poverty, and from environmental degradation.

Mark Ames: Post Collapse, Banks get bigger, Rich get Richer

Click here to access 7:39m video from Russia Today via You-Tube.

Mark Ames, the editor of Exiled magazine, talks about the current class war in the US, why the financial sector is richer than ever after the collapse of 2008, the importance of the Occupy protests, and why he expects things “to get ugly”.    

Obama and Geithner: Government, Enron-Style

Click here to access article by Matt Taibbi from Rolling Stone.

I am only posting this piece because it epitomizes a liberal interpretation of the failure of political leaders to serve the public interest. It is a kind of morality tale which obscures the hidden reality of class rule which is the function of liberals within capitalist societies. Obama and Geithner were hired by the One Percent to perform as they are currently doing: serving the interests of the One Percent instead of the 99 Percent, otherwise known as the "public", who these leaders are suppose to represent according to "democratic theology".

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Iraq in political turmoil only days after US withdrawal

Click here to access article posted in Al Akhbar, source from AFP (French news service).

This Mid-Eastern political creation of the Empire, which was created after nine years of invasion and occupation at a cost of nearly $1 trillion and millions of lives lost, already appears to be coming apart at the seams.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said that the United States, whose troops completed their withdrawal from Iraq over the weekend, "have expressed our concern regarding these developments."

Money Power World Rule

Click here to access article by Stephen Lendman posted on IndyBay. 
Clearly, money power in private hands failed. It's wrecking the country, devastating the American dream, impoverishing millions, destroying jobs, contaminating the environment, and funding America's military machine that's ravaging the world one country at a time, and threatening humanity with extinction.

Medical Journal Article: 14,000 U.S. Deaths Tied to Fukushima Reactor Disaster Fallout

Click here to access article posted in Climate Connections, original source: Joseph Mangano and Janette Sherman, International Journal of Health Services 
An estimated 14,000 excess deaths in the United States are linked to the radioactive fallout from the disaster at the Fukushima nuclear reactors in Japan, according to a major new article in theDecember 2011 edition of the International Journal of Health Services.   This is the first peer-reviewed study published in a medical journal documenting the health hazards of Fukushima.
See also followup report on today's posting from the same source for more details.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Corporate Raid on State Tax Revenue

Click here to access article by Phil Mattera from It's Our Economy.

While states and municipalities are forced to cut back on education, health, and welfare, the big corporations play off one region against another or threaten to leave the country in order to garner huge benefits and exemption from taxes.
While it was once taken for granted that large U.S. corporations would do most of their investing at home, companies such as Boeing and Intel now act as if they are doing the country a favor with their domestic projects and expect to be rewarded handsomely in the form of special state tax breaks on top of those business-friendly provisions available to all firms.
As corporations, their stockholders, and bankers, and all of the One Percent are swimming in cash and luxury, the 99 Per Cent are sinking deeper into poverty. See this report entitled, "US mayors decry rise in poverty, homelessness" from AFP (Agence France-Presse).

Egyptian military cracks down on peaceful protesters

Click here to access article by Johannes Stern from World socialist Web Site.  

It is clear that the protests and struggles for a genuine democracy in Egypt during the Arab Spring will not be allowed to disturb the ruling US backed junta, that is, if US political operatives have their way.
Washington views the Egyptian military as its main ally to defend its imperialist interests in the region. It gives $1.3 billion each year to the Egyptian army, second only to its support for the Israel Defense Forces.
In contrast to the coverage of protests during the Arab Spring in Egypt, now US media is mostly ignoring the current brutal attacks on peaceful protestors. 

See also this piece from WSWS for more details about the arming of the Egyptian military by the US.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

From America to Amerika: The End Game [must read]

Click here to access article by James Fetzer from Voltaire.
In the case of the McCain/Levin amendment [to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)], this is a warning to every U.S. citizen who takes issue with this corrupt, murderous, even illegitimate government in Washington, D.C., no matter where they are here in the United States, that the military now has a hunting license to come to get you and ferret you off to a secret stalag for torture and indefinite incarceration.
It appears from the evidence provided in this and many other current articles is that we, the 99 Per Cent, are all Palestinians now. Yes, that's right, the end game has finally arrived--we are now the enemy. Or, at the very least, they want us to believe that and be too frightened to protest anything.

In any case, the provision in the NDAA is real. Apparently the Occupy movement has scared the Bejesus out of the One Percent because the last nails are now being hammered into the lid of the coffin of our civil liberties in Washington by our "change" President and the Congress. Meanwhile the media of the One Percent keeps us distracted by exhorting us to go out shopping for Christmas. It no doubt will take a while for this to really sink into the psyche of most of the 99 Per Cent. 

So, the question remains: has fascism really come to America? Are they really going to put dissenters into internment camps as the report from InfoWars suggests? This report has stirred up a lot of coverage not only in the alternative media that focuses on sensational material, but also among Wall Street type sources such as Business Insider and Max Keiser's blog. Then there is other evidence that the author of this article provides which suggests that the threat is authentic. And, of course, the NDAA amendment essentially justifies these camps. The author provides a very sensible, well-reasoned, and well balanced analysis of these events.

In a way I think this is probably good. We have been like children who have believed in sugar plumb fairies of democratic freedoms and the Santa Claus of a government that was serving our interests. The growing police state will force many of us to finally grow up. Only adults can effectively cope with real threats in their lives.

Of Ideology and Philanthropy

Click here to access article by Michael Barker from Ceasefire. 
Massive not-for-profit corporations, like the Carnegie, Ford, and Rockefeller foundations, created by the world’s leading capitalists, have “gone to great lengths to rationalise the contradiction between democratic principles and elite dominance.” Seen through the eyes of their executives, democracy only functions when it is run by the few for the many.
The author reviews the ideas and findings of a 1983 by Edward Berman entitled, The Influence of the Carnegie, Ford, and Rockefeller Foundations on American Foreign Policy: The Ideology of Philanthropy, to shed light on how the rich have used philanthropy to indoctrinate students from all over the world in the values and perspectives of capitalism.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Outsourcing Jobs, Offshoring Markets

Click here to access article by Alan Nasser from CounterPunch. 

This is one of the clearest explanations of the effects of globalization that I have seen. Above all, he explains the logic of globalization as it is currently influencing events and what is likely to happen in the future which is essentially a small first world and a huge third world everywhere in the world.
One might object that there are clear limits to how impoverished working people can be made – after all, workers have to be maintained as work-ready. Upward redistribution can only go so far. But ever-widening inequality is perceived by elites as feasible by virtue of the limitless possibilities of greater indebtedness. Workers can make ends meet by indefinitely mortgaging their future income.
It is on the latter point where the author fails us. The future is far worse than what he describes. As I see it, more devastating wars, more police state methods, more climate chaos, more environmental degradation, as well as greater extremes of wealth and poverty are in our future...unless, of course, we of the 99% get more active and refuse to allow capitalist ruling classes to have their way.

Extreme Weather Map

Click here to access map from Natural Resources Defense Council. 

Besides reasons of social justice, even more important is the necessity to replace class rule with genuine participatory rule of the people in order to insure our very survival as a human race. The planet will continue regardless of what humans do, but the evidence is clear that under the rule of the capitalist class all habitat that can support human life will be destroyed. It was clear in the 1970s that we could not continue spewing carbon dioxide into the air and poisoning our rivers and oceans. But now, 40 years later we stand poised on critical thresholds beyond which there will be nothing we can do to prevent our extinction. 

US Public Relations Officers Employed by the Ruling Class Reassuring the Public

So far, the governing capitalist class has been able to do nothing other than launch public relation campaigns to have us believe initially that there wasn't actually a problem, and now we are receiving soothing messages from the fossil fuel industry to have us believe that sometime in the near future they will come up with a magic solution to this developing crisis.

One can better understand our dilemma by seeing this governing class of people as addicts--because that is exactly what they are. And like all addicts, they will get their fix even if it kills them. Well, that wouldn't be so bad except that we will go down with them...that is, if we continue to allow them to satisfy their addictions to power and profits. On the way to extinction we can look forward to more extreme weather disasters, more poisoning of our rivers and oceans, and more wrecked economies.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Dante’s Divine Comedy – Banksters Edition

Click here to access article by William K. Black from New Economic Perspectives. 

One can fantasize all they want about punishing the banksters and others for bringing our economy to the edges of collapse, but that will not change anything. What the author does clarify is that so many people were involved in the mortgage scam: bankers, hedge fund managers, Wall Street, accountants, insurance companies, rating agencies, mortgage companies, on down to real estate agents. That is the only way it could have worked. But the engineers of this scam were at the very top of the class of people who own and control capitalist societies. They offered all kinds of inducements to these other people to engage in sociopathic behavior. There has been class war for the past 10 thousand years, but this was class war on steroids.

But if you still prefer to engage in fantasies, here is another one from the liberal Atlantic magazine where they fantasize about Congress enacting stronger regulatory laws. 

So rather than passively engaging in soul satisfying fantasies, we of the 99% must organize and do away with any kind of class rule by designing a class free society, a bottom-up form of genuine, participatory democracy. It's hard and potentially dangerous work, but it must be done.

The Truth Hurts–And Heals

Click here to access article by Charles Hugh Smith from Occupy Wall Street News.

Participants in the Occupy movement in the US are now beginning to discover some truths about the system that governs their society:
There is a system of government in which rule of law is merely a propaganda screen, where financial and political Elites run the show and escape the consequences of their actions: it’s called tyranny. The truth is that we live in a financial tyranny.
However, the solution, a truth commission, that this blogger recommends demonstrates that there are many more truths which will need to be uncovered in order to create a healthy society; and I have no doubt that they will be. The most fundamental ones that I have in mind are: money cannot be under private control, socially produced wealth cannot be appropriated by private interests, and what is produced and how products and services are produced must be under genuine democratic control.

African-American Faith Community Joins Forces with Occupy Wall Street – First Day of Action on MLK Day, Jan 16 at Federal Reserve Banks

Click here to access article from Occupy Wall Street News.
Members of the African-American faith community have joined forces with Occupy Wall Street to launch a new campaign for economic justice inspired by the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.. Faithful to its philosophical origin, the “Occupy the Dream” coalition has called for a National Day of Action on Martin Luther King Day – Monday, January 16, 2012 – when they will “Occupy the Federal Reserve,” in multiple cities nationwide, focusing attention on the gross injustice visited upon the 99% by the financial elite.
This is great news! It demonstrates once again that the movement is here to stay by drawing in more of the 99% who identify with the movement. 

Shock as retreat of Arctic sea ice releases deadly greenhouse gas

Click here to access article by Steve Connor from The Independent. 

This is the latest update of findings by a research team who have been monitoring methane releases in northern Siberia for the last 20 years. Their recent findings are looking worse than the preliminary data with discoveries of huge eruptions of atmosphere destroying methane gas. This release of methane from thawing of the Arctic tundra has long been anticipated and feared by climate scientists. For more clarification see also "Global Warming Feedback Loop Caused by Methane" from National Geographic and Wikipedia's explanation of greenhouse gases.
Dramatic and unprecedented plumes of methane – a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide – have been seen bubbling to the surface of the Arctic Ocean by scientists undertaking an extensive survey of the region.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Bradley Manning story inspires play by National Theatre of Wales

Click here to access article by Alex Needham from The Guardian. 

With US media constantly referring to US troops used to invade other countries as "soldier warriors" and heroes, I and many others regard resistance people such as Bradley Manning as the real heroes of our age. Bradley fought on behalf of the 99 percent by helping to expose the lies of the One Percent. By doing so he risked so much, and has undergone horrendous punishment for his services to us. We simply must support our heroes! 

Here is are lyrics to a great new song to celebrate Bradley and our other heroes:
For Bradley Manning
When Bradley comes marching home again Hurroo, hurroo
When Bradley comes marching home again Hurroo, hurroo
We’ll charge the war makers with their crimes
Put ‘em in the dock, make them pay for those crimes
When the peace is won and Bradley comes marching home

For Molly Ivins
When Molly comes marching home again Hurrah, hurrah
When Molly comes marching home again Hurrah, Hurrah
We’ll win the peace, just you see
The world will have a chance to be free
When the peace is won and Molly comes marching home

For Dr. King
When Martin comes marching home again Hurray, Hurray
When Martin comes marching home again Hurray, Hurray
We’ll put our conscience to the test
And lay the war machine to rest
When the peace is won and Martin comes marching home

When Bradley comes marching home again Hurray, Hurray
When Bradley comes marching home again Hurray, Hurray
We’ll start with a truce, don’t you see
No more war, that’s the key
When the peace is won and Bradley comes marching home

The Making of the American 99% and the Collapse of the Middle Class

Click here to access article by Barbara Ehrenreich and John Ehrenreich from TomDispatch. (Note: You may want to skip the introduction by scrolling down to the article.)

Unlike many writers, these astute observers demonstrate that they really understand class structure. They explain how US society so suddenly became divided between the (less than) one percent and the 99 percent.
...until a few months ago, the 99% was hardly a group capable of...articulating “the identity of their interests.” It contained, and still contains, most “ordinary” rich people, along with middle-class professionals, factory workers, truck drivers, and miners, as well as the much poorer people who clean the houses, manicure the fingernails, and maintain the lawns of the affluent.

Reform vs Revolution Within Occupy [must read article]

Click here to access article by Shamus Cooke from Workers Compass.
...it seems obvious that most people in America are on the fence as to whether or not to support or reject Occupy. These people cannot be dismissed as Conservatives or "apathetic.” Many of them will be willing to fight with Occupy in the streets, as some unions have, if they see Occupy's fight as their own. Occupy must demonstrate to the 99% that it is serious about waging a real struggle for working class demands, since tens of millions of working people are suffering and would rally to a movement they saw as providing real hope, not merely moments of bravery combined with anti-1% rhetoric.
Because the Occupy movement may be the last opportunity to win a final contest with the One Percent who are hellbent on placing us in perpetual servitude and destroying the Earth to satisfy their addiction to power and profit, we, the 99%, simply must get it right this time. Everyone who cares about peace, about education, about social justice, about the environment--not only for ourselves, but for generations to come--must get involved in the process of determining the future of the Occupy movement. Because we are heading toward a pivotal point in the history of humanity, nobody can sit out this contest. 

Which side are you on? You are either with the 99% or, if you do nothing, you are by default with the One Percent. How can I make such a startling claim? Because the One Percent are busy ratcheting up their war on us. Take a look at what they have been doing very recently:
Read also Kevin Zeese's article for some great ideas about moving the movement ahead.

Did the Pentagon Help Strangle the Arab Spring?

Click here to access article by Nick Turse from TomDispatch. (Note: You may want to skip the elaborate introduction by scrolling down to the article.)

While public relations officers of the Empire (Obama, Sarkozy, Clinton, etc) have been making noises in support of the Arab Spring and the democratic forces behind it, the real story is gradually emerging.
As state security forces across the region cracked down on democratic dissent, the Pentagon also repeatedly dispatched American troops on training missions to allied militaries there.  During more than 40 such operations with names like Eager Lion and Friendship Two that sometimes lasted for weeks or months at a time, they taught Middle Eastern security forces the finer points of counterinsurgency, small unit tactics, intelligence gathering, and information operations -- skills crucial to defeating popular uprisings.
The Pentagon's strategy to insure the Empire's dominance is always to wed a target country's military with the Empire's military in order to co-opt them and to subvert any kind of legitimate government. Thus, they lavish training junkets, perks, military equipment, etc on the target country's military leaders.

NATO dreams of civil war in Syria

Click here to access article by Pepe Escobar from Asia Times Online. 

The author sees a Plan B that the Empire is employing in Syria: terrorize the Assad government to death.
By adopting this pincer movement, NATO in Syria is now actively diversifying into an Iraq-in-the-1990s strategy; to submit Syria to a prolonged state of siege before eventually going for the kill.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Occupy is Not Just About Occupying: The Goal is Not to Occupy it is to End Corporate Rule

Click here to access article by Kevin Zeese from Occupy Wall Street News.

The author provides an excellent perspective on what the Occupy movement is all about: to replace corporate rule with the rule of the people. Seen this way, further actions toward this goal seem clear.
Occupying for a short time accomplishes many of the objectives of holding public space – the political dialogue is affected, people are mobilized and all see that fellow citizens can effectively challenge the corporate-state.  Staying for a lengthy period continues to deepen these goals but the impacts are more limited and the costs get higher.

What to do next?  The Occupy Movement needs to bring participatory democracy to communities.  Occupiers should develop an aggressive organizing plan for their city.  Divide the city and appoint people to be responsible for different areas of the city.  Depending on how many people you have make these areas as small as possible.  Develop plans for house-to-house campaigns where you knock on doors, provide literature, ask what you can do to make their lives better.  Do they need snow removed?  Clothes?  If so, get the occupy team to fulfill their needs, find used clothes, clean their yard – whatever you can do to help.  This shows community and builds relationships.

EU summit: tales of fiscal union and financial adultery

Click here to access article by Jérôme E. Roos from Reflections on a Revolution. 

The author sees the current European banking/sovereign funds crisis as being a contest between European financial centers. The political leaders of the various countries are only representing their financial centers while the people's dire economic interests are being ignored. He uses a metaphor of a family of European nations whose parents are engaging in extramarital affairs with banking institutions while totally disregarding the welfare of their children, the people of Europe. 
As always, the greatest pain is quietly borne by the kids: the citizens who haven’t even been consulted by their leaders. Childhood illusions about European solidarity have been brutally uprooted. But, as if to repress the most confronting part of the drama, no one appears to be talking about the disgraceful extramarital affairs that lie at the root of it all. The truth is that both the UK and Europe have been engaging in financial adultery for decades on end.
Although quite amusing, I'm not really convinced that this is the most apt metaphor. First, it is hard to imagine any set of parents having so little, if any, regard for their children. But to extend the metaphor a little, the solution is for the kids to grow up, organize and support their own healthy households, and leave the squabbling parents behind. Second, the European political leaders are really only representatives of the financial institutions, even though they and all the societal institutions that the ruling class controls pretend otherwise.

On the other hand, a more appropriate metaphor would be this scenario: several giant corporations fighting for a dominant position in the market by engaging in a price war. The officers of these corporations couldn't care less about their employees--there are plenty more out there among the unemployed. So, they keep cutting the prices on their products to undersell their competitors. This results in their selling below the costs of production and causes harm to their enterprises which, in turn, results in layoffs of employees. (This happened in the early days of industrial enterprises until they became wise to the adverse effects of this game plan and decided to collude with each other against consumers by price fixing and market division tactics.) Nowadays financial empires are governed by powerful people who, while being drunk on their sense of power, feel a sense of impunity and have little inhibitions about wrecking havoc among their national populations in their pursuit of more power and profits.

The Iraq withdrawal and the continuing eruption of US militarism

Click here to access article by Bill Van Auken from World Socialist Web Site. 

This is the best assessment of the current pull-out of uniformed US troops from Iraq that I have seen. 
In Iraq itself, uniformed troops are being replaced by a new army in civilian clothes. A massive, fortress-like American embassy in Baghdad has been erected in a walled compound of 104 acres—larger than the Vatican—with two similar facilities having been opened as consulates in the southern oil center of Basra and the Kurdish capital of Arbil in the north.

Operating out of these American fortresses will be up to 17,000 personnel. They will include 5,500 armed military contractors.
Meanwhile, according to this report, the Empire's weapons industries look forward to big profits from selling weapons to the Empire's satrap in Iraq.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The pro-Israel NGO behind NATO’s war on Libya is targeting Syria

Click here to access article by Maidhc Ó Cathail from Foreign Policy Journal. 

The current propaganda campaign to do a Libya-type operation on Syria is being waged by various Empire centers of propaganda. This author outs a major one tied to Zionist interests--UN Watch.
Founded in 1993 under the chairmanship of Ambassador Morris B. Abram, the former US permanent representative to the United Nations in Geneva, UN Watch is affiliated with the American Jewish Committee.

West Coast Port Shutdown Sparks Heated Debate between Unions, Occupy

Click here to access article by Evan Rohar from Labor Notes. 

The article touches on all the complicated aspects of actions such as this which affects legally constricted unions and independent contractors.

See also this article from AlterNet entitled, "Occupy Activists Try to Shut Down West Coast Ports", and this one from Socialist Worker for more information. 

Once again, war is prime time and journalism's role is taboo

Click here to access article by John Pilger from his website. 
On 22 May 2007, the Guardian's front page announced: "Iran's secret plan for summer offensive to force US out of Iraq."
This distinguished, independent journalist outs another blatant attempt by a "respectable" mainstream publication to serve the war needs of the Empire. This is another illustration of how the Empire has infiltrated all major media to serve the needs of the less than One Percent. Parallel with this is the colonization of our minds with Empire propaganda. This effort is very cost effective for the Empire--much more so than employing the direct brutal methods of a police state. But, of course, they are perfectly willing to use the latter, and do bring it into operation whenever the former doesn't work.

A Therapist Talks About the Occupy Wall Street Events

Click here to access article by Lane Arye from In Front and Center. 

The article explores ways to strengthen the Occupy movement through inclusive methods of participation.
...when all voices and roles have a chance to be heard and interact, the wisdom of a group or community can arise. Perhaps the many-headed creature that is OWS needs our particular song, our particular direction. The world is trying to express itself. It is using us. By believing in our own voice, in our own special part, and by actively listening to our peers, we can help the wisdom and power of the movement to develop.

You Have Never Seen a Political Leader Say Anything Like This Before

Click here to access the source of this posting from Economic Policy Journal.

The comments section on the site where this was posted indicate that a lot of Brits are dubious about his sincerity. Nevertheless, the British MP, Nigel Farage, has dramatically expressed some important, but very uncomfortable truths about capitalist democracy in Europe and the way that the European sovereign debt crisis is being managed.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Anti-#Occupy/CIA Connection

Click here to access article by Maureen Tkacik from Naked Capitalism. 

There were numerous reports that leaked out in various media about coordinated efforts of municipal police departments in dealing with their local Occupiers. An article entitled, "The cop group coordinating the Occupy crackdowns" was one of the first and, if you are unaware of this phenomenon, you definitely should read it first before reading this article.

This article provides a lot of interesting background information of the growing role of the CIA - security establishment's infiltration of, and influence over, local police departments. Also, see the extensive comments following the article which add a lot of additional interesting information. 

Although the author doesn't make it clear in the article, PERF, the offshoot of the Police Foundation, stands for Police Executive Research Forum

Zambada Niebla Case Exposes US Drug War Quid Pro Quo

Click here to access article by Bill Conroy from The Narcosphere.

Court Cases such as this that sometimes do not play out according to the scripts written by the DEA agents of the One-Percent can reveal a lot about the realities of the "War on Drugs". However, because the DEA hides behind a veil of secrecy enabled by laws of the One-Percent (Classified Information Procedures Act), one must do a little sleuthing to tease out these realities. The Narcosphere website is devoted to this task.
...the information provided by the Sinaloa Cartel to US agencies against its rivals assures a steady flow of drug busts and media victory headlines for US agencies and for the Mexican government. That propaganda is necessary for hoodwinking their citizens into believing that progress is being made in the drug war and thereby assuring the continued funding of bloated drug-war budgets and support for failed policies that have cost the lives of some 50,000 Mexican citizens since late 2006 and ended any hope of a productive life for hundreds of thousands of US citizens — most wasting away in US prisons and not a small number the victims of street homicides linked to drug deals gone bad. [my emphasis]
This program of the One-Percent referred to as a "War on Drugs" serves multiple purposes for the benefit of the One-Percent: it justifies the militarization of local police forces, strengthens the influence of federal agencies over local police agencies, creates a climate of fear which increases citizen compliance with police state methods, and supplies hard drugs to the poorest sections of the nation to demoralize and create chaos in communities to prevent them from organizing any resistance such as was provided by organizations in the past like the Black Panthers.

US outed, and far from drawn down

Click here to access article by M K Bhadrakumar from Asia Times Online. 

The Empire's arrogance and aggressiveness sometimes causes problems for its satraps in the Middle East and Asia. This is now dramatically seen in Pakistani reactions to the latest incident involving a NATO air strike on one of their military installations. This may be the proverbial straw that breaks the camel's back of Pakistani cooperation with NATO. This author goes into the details of this story which appears to be about a collision course between an apparent post-Libya policy of the Empire's political operatives to increase, rather than draw down, NATO forces and Pakistan's hostility toward, and distrust, of NATO. Then there is China and Russia nearby.

The usual scenario in such circumstances is often a covert operation instigated by Empire political operatives to replace a head of state with one who is more compliant. According to this author, such a strategy might be very difficult.
...the Pakistani army is taking great and meticulous care that while traversing the shark-infested waters in the months ahead, it holds the hands of the country's civilian leadership at every stage, every moment.

Bank’s leaked email admits ‘Occupy’ movement ‘could impact our industry’

Click here to access article by David Edwards from The Raw Story. 
It is the bank’s policy to protect and secure our properties for the investors who own them.
The class war has now moved to the homes of Americans and Bank of America is preparing for this war. No doubt, other institutions of the one percent are doing likewise. It seems to me that this battle is crucial. If we are unable to take back our homes, then we should surrender to the one percent's Empire and prepare to descend further into barbarism and environmental degradation. Yet, there is so much investor money tied up in our homes that we can expect a ferocious battle which, like Stalingrad in WWII, could be the decisive battle in the overall war.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Future of the Occupy Movement

Click here to access article by Jules Lobel from the Center for Consitutional Rights.

The author contributes to an ongoing discussion of the Occupy movement and it's future.
Perhaps the most critical component of OWS is its creation of alternative communities which reflect the egalitarian, democratic world that its activists seek for the future. Sometimes referred to as “pre-figurative politics,” this perspective seeks to create in microcosm the alternative models that reflect the future world that the activists support, while at the same time using those institutions to engage in direct action to change the current reality.

Julian Assange: 'People want the truth'

Click here to access article and the transcript of this video from Green Left.

This is the first time I've heard Julian Assange, one of the world's most courageous journalists, speak directly. I am very impressed. He has been exposing the lies of the Empire, and by doing so, learning that the Empire reaches across many national boundaries to co-opt many political leaders and governments. 

The Revolution of the Middle Class

Click here to access article by Brent Herbert from The Living Resurrection: Random Commentary.

This perceptive, thoughtful writer sees the current Occupy movement as a middle-class revolutionary force. Although the middle class is certainly being threatened and is to a large extent driving this movement, I'm not so sure that one can characterize the whole movement as being owned by the "middle class". As parts of the middle class are being driven to despair, I think that such people are merging with the ranks of revolutionary workers. Thus, class lines are being blurred as are national boundaries. Neo-liberal policies have created class war across the globe by the one percent against the 99% who constitute everyone else. In any case, he has a lot of interesting perspectives to offer in our quest to understand what is currently happening in the US.
It is worth noting that for close to thirty years, and continuing uninterrupted over the last few years, the 'super rich one percent,' the capitalist ruling class, those Napoleons, the Mussolini of the boardroom, have just been socking those big fat cheques away, increasing their share of world's wealth by double digit percentages, year after year. Life remains quite good for some people. They have piled up a percentage of the wealth of this planet that is unprecedented in the history of that capitalist system, the social inequality today being even more extreme than the polarization that was present before the last great crash in 1929.

Emma Goldman – The Failure of Christianity

Click here to access article re-published by Eagainst.

As much as I admire the contribution that Emma Goldman made to raise the political consciousness of American workers after WWI, I think that her focus on reactionary Christianity misses the broader story of how all religions, the effort to make sense of life, are often corrupted by those who wish to exploit and dominate other people. For me, this broader view is best expressed in the online article entitled, "Revolutionary Christianity" by Brent Herbert.

COP17 succumbs to Climate Apartheid

Click here to access article from Climate Connections. 
“What some see as inaction is in fact a demonstration of the palpable failure of our current economic system to address economic, social or environmental crises,” said Janet Redman, of the Washington-based Institute for Policy Studies. “Banks that caused the financial crisis are now making bonanza profits speculating on our planet’s future. The financial sector, driven into a corner, is seeking a way out by developing ever newer commodities to prop up a failing system.”

Despite talk of a “roadmap” offered up by the EU, the failure in Durban shows that this is a cul-de-sac,  a road to nowhere.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Bobby's Story: Veteran Facing Foreclosure, Fighting Back

Click here to access article from Occupy Our Homes. 

The Occupy movement is beginning to take back people's homes and fighting back against foreclosures all across the US.

The Climate Change Revolution Will Not Be Funded

Click here to access article by Jared Sacks from The Indypendent.
After 17 years of meetings to address climate change, the lack of action from world leaders clearly shows that the biggest polluting nations not only lack the political will to address the issue, but also seem to be actively carrying out the anti-environmental agenda of the largest corporations on this planet.
The author suggests that the NGOs that organized the UN conference in Durban, South Africa, and who often support positive climate change measures got in the way of any real citizen involvement in the proceedings, and arrives at the conclusion that...
...NGOs have no structural accountability to their so-called beneficiaries. They are externally funded organizations that, like the World Bank, are accountable to outside forces through the power of the purse.
Clearly, the model of self-governance via direct democracy that is being created by the Occupy movements all over the world is a critical tool needed to repair the global social and environmental crises.

Arundhati Roy: 'The people who created the crisis will not be the ones that come up with a solution'

Click here to access article featuring an interview with Roy.

An example of one of her gems of wisdom:
I hope that that the people in the Occupy movement are politically aware enough to know that their being excluded from the obscene amassing of wealth of US corporations is part of the same system of the exclusion and war that is being waged by these corporations in places like India, Africa and the Middle East. Ever since the Great Depression, we know that one of the key ways in which the US economy has stimulated growth is by manufacturing weapons and exporting war to other countries. So, whether this movement is a movement for justice for the excluded in the United States, or whether it is a movement against an international system of global finance that is manufacturing levels of hunger and poverty on an unimaginable scale, remains to be seen. 

Friday, December 9, 2011

William M. Diefenderfer: The Financial Hit Man of Student Loans

Click here to access article by Catherine Austin Fitts from Solari. 

In recent times women have innocently and increasingly entered the traditional male realms of high finance only to experience disillusionment. I'm thinking of such courageous women as Elizabeth Warren, Yves Smith (pen name), and this author. (I certainly am not implying that gender are related to evildoers, but generally to innocence when it comes to high finance.) This rather lengthy but excellent article is in a sense a description of a journey of such a woman who ultimately comes face to face with people doing evil within a system that produces so many evil people (sociopaths). 
I have spent much of my professional career cleaning up mortgage fraud, trying to prevent mortgage fraud or protecting my subscribers and clients from the financial and economic ramifications of mortgage, federal credit and related securities fraud.  Before that, I spent my childhood watching mortgage fraud destroy the equity of my neighbors' homes. I have watched the cancer of mortgage fraud spread to thousands of communities and, eventually, the whole country. I thought I had seen the worst that financial fraud could do to America. I was wrong. What has happened in the student loan industry over the last fifteen years is worse than anything I have seen before.